Making Less Mean More. B&B's Jennie Potts on how good design can help us shop smarter.22/11/21
As Black Friday rears its unsustainable head once again, B&B Design Director Jennie Potts discusses how good design can help us shop smarter.
In our climate-aware climate, the challenge for today’s designers is how to design less and make it mean more. If we really want people to live more sustainably, it’s our responsibility to make it easy and desirable for them to do so. From encouraging a shift from quantity to quality, to championing reuse and repair, we need to harness the power of creativity to make less a more desirable way to live.
Black Friday demonstrates the great conflict faced by many forward-thinking brands today – between the need to sell product and the desire to embody purpose. More and more brands are skipping the day altogether, including skincare disruptor Deciem who encourage slow shopping with a month-long discount and close both their online and real world stores on the day itself, and fashion retailer Me+Em who refuse to participate on the basis that their brand is based on investment pieces rather than fast fashion.
As brand designers with much of our work in the packaged food and drink space, we know our designs are being bought by people on a daily basis – and are ultimately disposable. But by combining great creativity with print and production expertise, we can lessen their impact while doubling their desirability.
Our rebrand for ethical and plant-based chocolate Raw Halo introduced a new plastic-free recyclable packaging to replace a less sustainable foil and cardboard solution. Not only has it enabled the brand to reduce production costs and its RRP, it has also helped avoid 2 tonnes of plastic waste and 4 tonnes of cardboard waste each year.
Our new glass jar design for Pip & Nut brings premiumisation to the brand while encouraging better re-use and recyclability (in the UK 67% of people recycle glass vs 46% recycling plastic). The jars are made from a minimum of 50% recycled glass and have introduced new efficiencies to production as the same jar is compatible across different factory lines.
In order to make each of LiQ’s ice cream tubs and spoons 100% biodegradable, we had to work closely with the biodegradable packaging printers to maintain our vision for a vibrant and colourful range. Together, we created a smart colour palette that would enable all the flavour variants to be printed together rather than separately, reducing costs as well as production waste and fulfilling the objective of 100% biodegradable packaging.
Our new design for Belvoir’s range of 50 SKUs required a separate pantone for each label. But to avoid waste of inks and energy, we created a palette of just eight colours that could replicate and replace all of the proposed 50 colours on the existing print production set up. This meant multiple designs could be printed together using less ink, less paper and less energy.
From substrates to print runs, there are so many ways that food and drink brands can minimise their impact without having to completely reimagine their offer. Creativity of course is key, but so is technical experience and production expertise – it’s all about making it happen.